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Book Review: Publish Like the Pros: A Brief Guide to Quality Self-Publishing by Michele DeFilippo

The book market is flooded with how-to books on getting published. The difference with Publish Like the Pros: A Brief Guide to Quality Self-Publishing is that the author, Michele DeFilippo, runs a book design company that helps authors succeed with a beautiful book. She offers a strategy to migrate toward self-publishing without the problems plaguing many first-time authors: Poor writing and bad covers. “What’s the point,” she says, “in creating a product that people aren’t going to want to purchase?”

In the old day of publishing, your book would be considered a success based on the size of the publisher’s print-run. The number of copies printed were an indicator of your expected sales ranking among other books. Now, times are different, and all that matters is the quantity sold, since a one-time large print-run seems to be a thing of the past for all but the top best-selling authors.

Your goal is still to write a good book for your intended audience and then have a darn good plan for how to reach that audience.

Self-publishing requires you learn many elements of the business if you are your own book project manager, from pricing and distribution to the critical elements of title and cover. Publish Like the Pros explains your role in helping a book designer truly understand your project and your target audience in order to give you the product you envision; one that will appeal to your target reader.

DeFillippo explains the misunderstood publishing industry of today in this brief handbook, an essential tool for new authors. Her unique perspective includes offering you the best design information for a professional appearance, benefits of using a distributor for stronger sales, solid advice on a quality product, and an understanding that your book is your business.

The book concludes with a small but mighty section on book distribution, pricing and marketing, with rules that are true whether you’re starting on your first book or your fifth. DeFillippo gives it to you straight, including the reality most authors don’t want to hear: a) you have to convince people to let you sell your book through them, and b) you have to convince readers to buy it.

It is hard work to produce a quality book, but there’s never been a better time to do so, and to do it right.

About Helen Gallagher

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